Something I Made
I am proud of the visual and information design of SeniorQuoter. (http://seniorquoter.org) SeniorQuoter is an open-source, installable PHP application which makes it easy for yearbooks to collect senior quotes. Note: You might want to follow along with screenshots posted online: http://snipurl.com/seniorquoter
I created the logo using custom vector paths in Inkscape. I purposely created my own letters to communicate the feeling of handwriting. The pencil represents handwriting and it serves as a recognizable icon for SeniorQuoter. I also extended the slightly curved, cursive-like top of the “S” to lead to the pencil so that the eraser could create the dot of the “I.” This connection creates a cohesive, distinct shape to the logo. The logo is in all black for easy printing on any type of surface using any type of printing method.
I selected the design of the quote submission page to simplify the submission of quotes and maximize the personality of the school. The quote submission page is very simple to use. There are no sidebars or extraneous links. In order to keep the code simple we do not support templates. Instead, we support color customization using an AJAX color selector. We also allow schools to upload an image of their mascot. This fits the needs of schools, since school’s branding relies on their colors and mascot. The administration panel is based off of the visual design of previous versions of the Wordpress blogging software. The panel’s primary navigation is divided by data type. In order to increase the visual appeal of the interface I added “famfamfam” icons. The icons make each section easier to recognize and add more color to the administration area. Although Wordpress has since totally redesigned their administration panel, our current design still meets our needs. In addition, the design allows new components to be added fairly easy if the need arises, for instance, if SeniorQuoter was extended to also collect “Who’s Who?” votes.
SeniorQuoter has been used for two years now at our school. There were no reported problems with the usability of the site and seniors reported that the system was easy to use. We had problems with getting seniors to get around to submitting their quotes (motivation) as well as seniors not receiving their private invite codes since the codes were distributed offline through homeroom mail.
In my opinion, SeniorQuoter is a clean, simple, laser-focused web application. It’s flexible where it needs to be, but is not too customizable as to make it impossible to test or develop.